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Dual roles of IL-15 in maintaining IL-7RαlowCCR7 - memory CD8+ T cells in humans via recovering the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway : Dual Roles of IL-15 in Maintaining IL-7RαlowCCR7− Memory CD8+ T Cells in Humans via Recovering the Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/AKT Pathway

Cited 27 time in Web of Science Cited 29 time in Scopus

Kim, Hang-Rae; Hwang, Kyung-A; Kang, Insoo

Issue Date
American Association of Immunologists
Journal of Immunology, Vol.179 No.10, pp.6734-6740
Recently, we identified two subsets of CCR7(-) memory CD8(+) T cells expressing high and low levels of the IL-7R alpha-chain (IL-7R alpha) that is essential for memory T cell survival in human peripheral blood. IL-7R alpha(low)CCR7(-) memory CD8(+) T cells that produce effector cytokines and perforin have impaired proliferation and survival in response to TCR triggering and IL-7, respectively. These findings raise a question of how such cells are sustained at significant numbers, > 20% of peripheral CD8(+) T cells, despite impaired IL-7- and TCR-mediated cell maintenance. In this study, we demonstrate that IL-7R alpha(low)CCR7(-) memory CD8(+) T cells have increased expression of IL-2/15R beta-chain (IL-2/15R beta 3), which is critical for IL-15 signaling, with enhanced gene expression of T box expressed in T cells (T-bet) and eomesodermin (eomes), transcriptional factors involved in IL-2/15R beta expression compared with IL-7R alpha(high)CCR7(-) memory CD8(+) T cells. Such a cytokine chain is functional as IL-7R alpha(low)CCR7(-) memory CD8(+) T cells proliferate considerably in response to IL-15. Furthermore, adding IL-15 to TCR'triggering recovers impaired TCR-mediated proliferation of IL-7R alpha(low) memory CD8(+) T cells via restoring the activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. These findings indicate that IL-15 has dual roles in maintaining IL-7R alpha(low)CCR7(-) memory CD8(+) T cells via TCR-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Moreover, IL-15 can be useful in reviving impaired proliferative function of such memory CD8(+) T cells with effector functions against infections and tumors via rescuing the PI3K/AKT pathway.
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  • College of Medicine
Research Area Function, Immune modulation by metabolites, T-cell anergy, differentiation of memory CD8+ T cells, metabolism


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